Where there live cormorants? Baikalo - I Remember Irkutsk sketches ofthat day when I for the first time paid attention to these graceful birds. There were I along the old, for a long time burned-down wooden bridge from the Istanbul port through a bay the Gold horn, but was late in its top part to look on the fishermen standing there - very curiously that they catch. There I also admired black birds, with the wings, shortish for such heavy creations, which are long running on water before to come off it.
they bewitched Me, and I all stood, observing as they dive and appear on a surface in a few minutes dexterously to throw the caught small fish, and then to swallow it. Then I learned that it is cormorants, widespread on the world. I met them in many countries, on different continents. On the Far East coast of our country I admired them fully. And here new meeting with these birds. The meeting is unexpected. I could not imagine that cormorants live on Baikal. Therefore when I saw the big birds flying over the lake, I decided that it is geese, but it were cormorants.
Wrote two hundred years ago that on Baikal cormorants met “such infinite packs as hardly where in other place on the continent of the Old World“, at the same time packs “closed the Sun“, and cormorants “such masses nested that the dung lay a thick layer on rocks and its smell was far carried“. Them was very much that in the thirties the 20th centuries the offer to organize their trade was discussed that “to give to the cities in addition hundreds of tons of fat bird`s meat“.
Says about their quantity that the name Baklany carried four islands, four capes, three bays, the small river and travel of the railroad, and only about 30 objects. However, over time almost everything islands Baklanyi were renamed. And suddenly the cormorant was gone and 40 years was considered disappeared in this area. But he lodged on Baikal again. This history interested me, and I wanted to understand it.
A cormorant - a bird of group pelikanoobrazny, living practically worldwide. In family about 30 bird species, nest in Russia six. Baikal treat the look which is most extended on the earth - “big“. At cormorants extended, as a spindle, a body with a long neck and webby paws. On a neck there is a throat bag, for feeding of baby birds parents thrust their heads into the mouth, bend a neck and push out fish in a beak of a baby bird. Cormorants with the sharp hook on the end combining properties of tweezers and a harpoon differ in a thin long beak. Their plumage of black color with metal gloss.
Cormorants colonies together with other birds nest, nests build of a grass and branches. Baby birds appear helpless and naked, acquire down, and in 2 months feather and begin to fly.
A big cormorant - the large bird, his weight reaches 4 kg. At wingspan of 160 cm and length of a body to 1 meter, it makes impressive impression.
Cormorants not only the flying, but also wandering birds, within a day can fly on considerable distances. To the middle of September the birds nesting on Baikal gather in the autumn packs leaving the territory of the lake by the end of month.
They are excellent divers, in it the Baikal cormorant is a champion. Diving on depth into 50 meters, it remains under water till 10 minutes, managing to catch up during this time with fish and the bent sharp hook on a beak as a harpoon, to kill her. What do cormorants eat? Generally it is fish, but also frogs and crayfish. On average they consume up to 300 g of fish in day.
The transparent blink membrane in the eyes which is carrying out a role of underwater points helps to be guided under water to a bird. The plumage of cormorants becomes wet, and after a vynyrivaniye the bird is forced to dry long time wings, sitting in a pose of a “heraldic“ eagle.
Rise of cormorants from the earth is almost impossible, from rocks and trees they do it freely, and here from water rise hardly. In flight their pack is aligned, each bird in air looks the correct cross.
We will return to a question: when and why the Baikal cormorants disappeared?
In 1933, according to the estimates of ornithologists, the number of these birds reached 10000 individuals. And here they began to disappear promptly. What became the reason? The first push was made in the years of war when mass gathering eggs and carcasses of baby birds which preserved and sent to the front began. But the main reason was the fact that to the middle 50 - x years on the lake there were many motor boats on which to reach the main places of nesting of cormorants did not make work.
Peculiar “sport“ began to beat cormorants with stones, to shoot them from small-caliber rifles, to gather eggs. Besides for zverovodchesky farms there was a preparation of carcasses of baby birds on a forage of fur animals. To the possible reasons both decrease in stocks of fish, and rise in level of Baikal after construction of Irkutsk hydroelectric power station treats with the subsequent sharp decrease in number of the main forage of cormorants - bull-calves, but also, natural change of an area was possible.
Perhaps, that it occurred from - for situations in places of wintering of waterfowl. At the same time in Siberia sharply decreased number and other migratory birds, such as a teal, a goose, a swan, wintering near a cormorant at the coast of China. At this time there was a mass face of the wintering birds. Used even explosives for what on low piles along the high steep coast under which birds gathered hanged out dynamite charges, undermined them, killed with the fallen blocks thousands of birds who were brought together then and used in food.
The last nests of cormorants were found in 1962 then there came the forty-year period of “bezbaklanny“ life of Baikal.
But here in 2006 on Small Sea Strait two populated nests of cormorants then restoration of number of these birds began, with the same speed with what they disappeared in the middle of the last century were found. The account went on tens, then hundreds and, at last, thousands of individuals in the beginning. In 2012 on islands of Small Sea Strait 600 - 700 couples with finishing autumn number before flight on wintering to 3000 individuals nested.